"Can you reset the Internet for me?"

September 26, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Ever been asked a stupid question?

Besides that one, that is.

Well, a survey developed by Robert Half Technology asked more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees, “What is the strangest or most unusual request you or a member of your help desk or technical support team has ever received?”

Their responses included:

  • “Why isn’t my wireless mouse connected to the computer?”
  • “My laptop was run over by a truck. What should I do?”
  • “Can you rearrange the keyboard alphabetically?”
  • “How do I read my e-mail?”
  • “My computer is telling me to press any key to continue. Where is the ‘any’ key?”
  • “Can you reset the Internet for me?”
  • “There are animal crackers in my CD-ROM drive.”
  • “Can you build me a robot?”

Other requests go beyond mere technical difficulties:

  • “How can I block e-mail from my manager?”
  • “Can I open the bank safe using my computer?” (hoping this one is from a bank employee)
  • “Can you install cable TV on my PC?”
  • “Can you order joysticks so that we can play video games?”
  • “I’d like to stop receiving e-mail on Fridays.”

And then, there are the requests for help that are just begging for a clever response:

  • "Can you come and install my car stereo?"
  • "Where can I locate dry ice?"
  • "I'd like wireless computer access in my motor home."
  • "Can you fix my typewriter?"
  • "How long does it take to bake a potato in a microwave?"
  • "My daughter is locked in the bathroom, can you pick the lock?"
  • "Can you tell me the weather forecast for next year?"
  • "The elevator is broken."
  • "How do I wire a robotic turkey?"
  • "Where can I get software to track UFOs?"
  • "Can you repair my motorbike?"

Of course, as anyone who has ever called a technical support help line knows, the answer is - always - "reboot."